This happened a few years ago on a March afternoon. It being a holiday, we considered a short drive. ‘No temples, no relatives. Only a long drive’, insisted Gen. Next of the family knowing well our preferences. ‘OK’, we said but read on what happened.

Having started late and not knowing where to go, we hit the Warangal highway. We were about to turn back to reach Ghatkesar when a signboard ‘Bhongir 10 km’ beckoned us. We knew nothing of the place except the imposing hill fort. We reached the fort 30 minutes before it closed. We enjoyed the bird’s eye view of the bustling town and of the huge orange ball dipping into the western horizon. We merged into the highway only to be informed that Yadagirigutta, the Abode of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, was hardly a 30-minute drive.

The plan was to just offer salutations to the Lord and His Consort from the highway itself. We were doubtful about the darshan because of the heavy rush. Besides, the temple might well be closed given the eclipse later in the night.

We found ourselves right in front of the temple as if pulled by an unseen hand. Vendors surrounded us, thrusting coconut and flowers and saying ‘Go, sir. You still have 20 minutes.

We had an excellent darshan, positioned right in front of the Lord. ‘Uncle. Why not we too perform this puja,’ my daughter-in-law, asked pointing to a small group engaged in swarna pushpaalankarana seva. ‘How can we? They are closing in a few minutes.’ She ran to the counter, got it opened, and raced back with the ticket.

Swarna pushpalankarana seva filled our hearts with the bliss that is beyond words to express. Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy granted exclusive darshan to just five of us. Can one ask for more? Such is His Grace.

‘No God. No temple’, we had thought before planning the drive. When He has other plans, who are we, mere mortals, to question? The ever-kind Yadadri Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy virtually hypnotised us to his hill-top Abode and showered His blessings. A moment to treasure lifelong.

Om Namo Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy.